Depending on your rooting interests, Texas picked either a really good or really bad night to get hot from deep.
Coming into the matchup with TCU, the Longhorns were shooting a very average 33% from behind the arc; after starting 7-11 on the night, they finished 11-22, enough to propel them to a win over the home team — despite shooting just 12-30 from the field otherwise.
Kevin Samuel did all he could for the Horned Frogs, scoring 13 first half points on his way to a 17 point, five rebound game, but for every super-human feat by the Frogs’ center, there was a Texas answer — generally in the form of another made three point basket. Jase Febres was the primary sharp-shooter for Texas Wednesday, scoring 15 points thanks to 5 of 7 shooting from three, one of four UT players with at least nine points on the night. Desmond Bane had a quiet first half, playing just ten minutes and scoring just five points thanks to a pair of early fouls, but the Frogs held tight through the first 20 minutes of play, trailing only due to a late three made by Texas to run out the clock.
The Horns made a couple of big runs early in the second half, leading by as many as 11 during the second stanza. But RJ Nemhard got hot, scoring 11 in the second half including a three pointer down the stretch that tied things up at 59 with 2:22 to play — part of an 8-0 run to get TCU back into the game. Desmond Bane couldn’t get going though, making just one field goal, though he added four free throws. And without his shooting, the Horns crowded the paint and made things tough on the Horned Frogs.
Texas answered Nembhard’s three with a deep Febres shot from behind the arc just ahead of the shot clock, with less than two minutes to play, but RJ scored two from the line to get back within one. That would be the game’s final margin, as TCU had one last shot to win it after forcing a shot clock violation, but Nembhard’s attempt to draw a foul ended in a travel, and the game ended in a TCU loss.
The one point loss was the first in conference play at home for the Frogs and snapped a three game Texas skid. TCU has a tough stretch ahead; next up is #1 Baylor in Waco Saturday, followed by a Wednesday trip to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State. Kansas comes to down to close out a tough three game stretch. Wednesday’s result likely means the Frogs will need to steal one of those three to stay in the bubble picture as we near the mid-point of Big 12 play.